San Diego Chargers (3-3) at Cleveland Browns (1-6)
I normally hate taking teams that are heavily publicly backed, but that’s exactly what I’m doing by taking the Chargers this week. I’m also taking a West Coast team on the road in the Eastern Time Zone at 1 PM, a situation that is normally bad for the visiting team. Under Norv Turner, it’s been no different for the Chargers as they’ve gone 1-4 ATS when traveling 3 time zones for a 1 PM ET start.
The main reason I’m doing this is because the Chargers are road favorites off of a bye. Those teams tend to cover at an incredibly high rate, going 42-14 ATS since 2002. On top of that, as I’ve mentioned in other picks, I do expect the disparity between favorites and dogs to close up. Dogs are 63-39 ATS this year. Neither dogs nor favorites have gone more than 10 games above .500 in a given year in at least the last decade.
Because of that, it’s no longer a bad idea to take a heavily backed team, so long as they are favorites. It’s not going to be a big play or anything like that, but I like the Chargers to get a road win here and cover in Cleveland as long as the line is 3 or fewer. The Chargers are coming off a bye and have had to listen to how bad they are for 2 weeks after that embarrassing loss against the Broncos. Well how about this? Favorites are 29-15 ATS since 1989 after blowing a lead of 10 or more to a divisional opponent. After a bye, there’s obviously fewer cases, but teams are 4-1 ATS.
Public lean: San Diego (new thing I’m adding, siding with the odds makers on bets is not a bad thing to do since they make so much money, so I’m listing this here to allow readers to “fade” the public, if they so choose, in this example, the odds makers win if Cleveland covers)
Sharps lean: SD 12 CLE 7
Final update: No change.
San Diego Chargers 27 Cleveland Browns 20
Pick against spread: San Diego -3 (-110) 2 units